Kuzeeko Tjitemisa WINDHOEK – The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) said yesterday that more than 1,500 of their members are set to lose their jobs in the coming weeks in the mining industry. According to the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), the country’s largest trade union federation, the industry has already lost up to 18,000 jobs to date. MUN secretary general Ebben Zarondo told New Era that mining giant Langer Heinrich uranium mine, New Diamond Polishing Company, Namibia Tantalum Mining and Weatherly Mining Namibia, as well as their contractors, are all set to lay off workers in the next couple of weeks. He said Langer Heinrich, a subsidiary of Australia’s Paladin Energy, is to lay off over 800 workers due to a decline in uranium prices on the international market, while New Diamond Polishing Company will send over 100 workers home and will venture into other business because shareholders do not want to renew their licence. He added that Namibia Tantalum is set to lay off close to 100 workers. The company attributed the retrenchments to shortage of water supply, which reason the union is taking with a pinch of salt. “So far we have reached a deadlock with Namibia Tantalum Mining and are awaiting a response from the Labour Commissioner,” Zarondo saud. Other possible job losses will be at Weatherly Mining Namibia, including their contractors, which he said could amount to 400 jobs. NUNW secretary general Job Muniaro last week said job losses in the industry were inevitable. He said this is due to the fact that the government does not have shares in mines. “You see, we are not the administrator of government or administrator of private companies or not even administrators of international institutions – so for us to have a meaningful assistance in containing job losses is minimal,” he said in an interview with New Era last week. “We are not determining the value of our own minerals, we are not determining the value of our own products, our values are determined by somebody else. We are not even selling our own products and minerals in the country, so how do you want us to contain jobs as leaders, even as union leaders?” he questioned. The containment of jobs, he said, is quite difficult from where the federation stands. “I think all of us need to sit around the table and think how best we can have a decisive right in terms of our minerals,” he added. “Right now, diplomatically, we are exporting jobs and we cannot contain it. Because this is how the agreement is,” he said.
New Era Reporter
2018-07-19 09:11:10 6 months ago